By Lawrence Olaoye
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday declared that the improvement recorded in the local production of cement in the country would soon crash the price of the product.
In a statement, signed by the Special Assistant to Vice President Namadi Sambo on Media and Publicity, Umar Sani, Jonathan, who was represented by Sambo at the LineII ground-breaking ceremony of UNICEM cement factory, Mfamosing, Calabar, Cross Rivers state, yesterday asserted that owing owing to its Backward Integration Policy, the country now has an installed capacity of 39.9 million metric tons of cement production.
According to him, the policy was initiated by the Federal Government in 2002 in off to meet self-sufficiency in cement production in the country.
He said “From a paltry 2 million metric tonnes of cement hitherto produced locally per annum, by 2013 we have achieved 39.5 million metric tons of installed capacity.”
The President described the manufacturing industry as the backbone of the country’s growth, emphasizing that government would continue to formulate policies that would galvanize the industry.
According to the President, to tackle the challenges being faced by industries in Cross River State, the 550mw Calabar Power plant would soon be commissioned. This is just as he added that construction work would soon commence on the rail line leading to Calabar up to Obudu Ranch, while also declaring that the dredging of the Calabar River aswell as the construction of a deep sea port at Ibaka among other infrastructural development were on top gear.
He, therefore, enjoined cooperation among all stakeholders as this was necessary for progress, saying “Government will continue to cooperate with the relevant agencies both public and private to champion
meaningful projects and ensure steady progress in our communities.”
Dignitaries at the event include the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, members of the state executive council and legislature, as well as other industry players and stakeholders.